Caught between the relentless sun beating down on them and unrelenting German footballers were millions of English fans who saw their World Cup dreams end in a humiliating defeat Sunday evening as England went down 1-4 to old rivals Germany.
The build-up in the country before the game contrasted with the sepulchral mood that enveloped it at 90 plus two minutes of football.
Empty beer cans were strewn around. People walked away, heads hung low, silently raging against the “horror show” they just saw.
A typical scene, perhaps, in every English town and village once the game ended in its heaviest defeat ever in a World Cup final.
In the end, the fans didn't know whom to blame.
The linesman who didn't see Frank Lampard's goal? The absent English defence whenever the Germans entered the rival D? The inability of Rooney to even make a decent pass?
Paul Wycombe, an engineer from Loughborough, said coming out of a bar in Leicester: “Defining game of the tournament? No. Defining game of some of these England players' international careers? Yes.”
There was anger at their own players.
Iain said on Twitter, “Can someone just confirm that these England players are paid tens of thousands a week? Shameful. Worst England performance ever.”
And they were sarcastic, like Geoff, who was texting all he knew: “We're into injury time, and this really is adding insult to injury if you are an England fan. Just the two minutes, thankfully.”
Hundreds of fans were following the match live on BBC Sports.
Paulie kept on texting after every German goal, “England with old fashioned rigid 4-4-2, Germany with the modern, fluid 4-2-3-1. Capello, England are living in the past.”
Andy Murray could not believe England had been denied what would have been its second goal, “How on earth did the linesman and referee miss that? Regardless of no technology, that mistake should never happen, worst mistake ever.”
Many of the fans took the easy way out like Andy, flaying the linesmen and lack of goal-side technology.
But Chris from Somerset brought them back to harsh reality: “I sincerely hope we don't focus on the Lampard 'goal' and instead look at the absolute disgrace this England team has been. An embarrassment.”